Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chaos part 2

Seems innocent doesn't she? Not so much.

Why does everything having to do with my mother end in chaos? How is it possible that her vortex of crazy is so strong that even things that I am 'in control' of are sucked in? It is truly amazing. There is not one time that shocks me any more but let me tell you about some of it.

First off we have the sale of her condo. Yes, it is a sucky market so I'm not going to complain about the sales price or the sticking it to me that the buyer did just because she could. Because, what seller isn't suffering at the present time? My complaint is this: how is it possible that after being on the market for 3 months, the very moment an offer comes in I am on my very first, monumental, wedding anniversary related, miles away from the babies, romantic getaway in Big Sur with my DH? Is it not possible that this single, solitary, miserable buyer's offer could have come in 2 days before or a day after this trip? Is it really true that I have to spend hours of my mere 4 days away printing and faxing and signing and sitting on the phone receiving instructions from the real estate agent because if I don't deal with this one miserable offer we may never get another? How did she plan this? It's magical I tell you. It's like her universe has a compass that points always to Mira's least convenient time to do something.

So, we get the contract signed in the middle of my 'vacation' and time passes until this week. The week of closing. It's very simple what I have to do, and straightforward: since mom is too sick to get to a notary (her condo is across the country in DC) I have to go to the notary myself and get the documents signed and then xerox and fedex them. Yes, there are 30 pages, but I was once a real estate agent myself, how hard could it be to get these documents signed, notarized and sent off? Well, apparently, once caught in the vortex of mom, it becomes nearly impossible. First off, I'm sick. I'm sick like I haven't been sick in years. My children gave me this illness, and they are not too bad off. They coughed a bit, released 8 tons of boogers each and had a few bad nights. But since they all had bad nights in a row, I got sicker. No sleep and a simple cold apparently adds up to bronchitis and the need for heavy drugs.

So I wake this morning, prepared to head to the notary by 9, get back in time for a phone call at 10:30 and with a plan to see a doctor about my unhappy lungs sometime in the afternoon. Oh no. Too easy. First, I arrive at the UPS store only to realize that the title company sent me a 32 page document that printed fine with the exception of one hidden page that was legal sized and therefore cut off at the top. Thanks guys, how did you expect me to print a legal page on 8 1/2 by 11? So I had to go home, get the DH to make the printer print it properly, then head back to UPS. I then encountered the slowest, most detail oriented (and that's putting it nicely), most politely unable to do things the way that the lawyers in MD wanted it done, notary public. So we had to make calls and find a way to do the notarizing for a MD contract in the CA accepted way. One might think that notarizing is somewhat standardized across the county but that would be false. Because that would be easy.

So once we established that he had a way of following his rules and still notarizing my document we proceeded. There were 8 signatures that needed notarizing in total. This took 45 minutes. Each signed document must be recorded in his little book, a separate form filled out, a stamp and my signature. Oh. My. God. Really? 45 minutes NOT including the initial review of documents and negotiations with the paralegal? Grinding and gnashing of teeth could be heard blocks away, but not a single bronchial spasm. I persevered.

I then had to head home for the phone call but called the Dr.'s office on the way. The only appointment they had was for 10 minutes after my phone call ended at a location 30 minutes away. I had to exchange my DH's car for mine, park down the street, conduct my phone call, and halfway through start driving downtown. Thankfully, my affairs are not chaotic. The phone call was accomplished, the doctor's office got me in and out in 20 minutes and I was on my way to the Fedex/Kinko's to fax and xerox and fedex. Again, this seemed simple enough. Really. I xeroxed, I started faxing, I prepared the fedex forms. Wait, hold on, the fax machine is spitting random numbers of pages through at the same time and we have no way of knowing what pages actually got scanned through. Even though I only put 5 pages AT A TIME through this stupid machine. Wouldn't you think Fedex could afford a nice spiffy self service machine?

No. The self serve machine would be 10 years old and finicky like a cat, so the nice man behind the counter offered to fax it. His beautiful new high end fax machine pulled all 29 pages through in the blink of an eye. I thought, this is a change in luck, now we'll be done soon. So I waited. 15, 20, 25 min. Uh, Fedex dude? What's up with the fax? "Oh, apparently the machine stopped at some point, I think page 19, and I can't tell why but usually it will redial the number and try again." So I wait, 15, 20 minutes again. What page does it say it's on now? "uh, page 20, it must have started at the beginning again." Gee, sure must have! 10 more minutes. What page is it on now? "24"

Ok world. That's it for me. Honestly, I have fedexed the original and the lawyers will have it by 10 am tomorrow so I'm all done. If the last 5 pages of that document don't make it through I could care less. I'm pretty sure the world won't come to an end. And if they call me and tell me they need it they will find out pretty quickly that I don't care. I have now spent 3 hours of my very small amount of personal time waiting for slow and stupid people and machines to complete small and easy tasks and I am done.

But see what I mean about everything becoming chaos around her? This stuff is usually cake. Sure, there are at least a thousand pages in the average sales contract for a house, and a thousand and 50 when you can't be there in person for closing but notarizing, faxing, xeroxing? Cake! What is it about this woman that draws the evil spirits of delay and postponement towards everything around her? I can't go grocery shopping for her without something going wrong while walking through the store, driving to her place, unpacking her stuff into a refrigerator. And I won't even go into the story again about the organizer person I hired to do her stuff. All of you non-believers who think that the world is a completely scientifically explainable place listen up. It just isn't true when you live with crazy.

I dare you to offer to help me with my mom and avoid getting sucked into the crazy. I dare you.

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